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Critical Scientific Realism$
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Ilkka Niiniluoto

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199251614.001.0001

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Realism in Epistemology

Realism in Epistemology

(p.79) 4 Realism in Epistemology
Critical Scientific Realism

Ilkka Niiniluoto (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Epistemological realism claims that it is possible to obtain knowledge about mind‐independent reality. Critical realism accepts fallibilism as a via media between scepticism and dogmatism: scientific knowledge is uncertain, incomplete, and truthlike. Against Kantianism, such knowledge is directly about reality, so that the Kantian idea of unknowable things‐in‐themselves is rejected. Epistemic definitions of truth (coherence, pragmatist, and consensus theories) are rejected, but epistemic probability and estimated verisimilitude are shown to be fallible indicators of truth and truthlikeness.

Keywords:   coherence theory of truth, consensus, epistemological realism, fallibilism, Kant, Kantianism, pragmatist theory of truth, probability, scepticism, things‐in‐themselves, truthlikeness, uncertainty

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